Sunday, March 14, 2010


   Last night a friend and I went to see singer-songwriter/performance artist Justin Bond at the Rrazz Room (yes, two "Rs": isn't that cute?), which is located in the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. 
   Her hilarious show, "Angel of the Morning: Ladies of the A.M.," revolved around the great lost hits of 1970s AM radio. (I say "her"; Justin Bond is a male, but her character in the show was female.)
   Bond appeared in a (velour?) caftan covered with garish burnt orange and brown stripes. Stack-heeled Espadrilles, brown fingernail polish (a wonderful touch), silver bracelets, a blond wig with swoopy bangs and hair floating down her back: the ensemble was so spot-on I felt like I was once again fifteen and saying hi to my best friend's mom. (I grew up in California in the nineteen-sixties and -seventies; it was the only place in the world to be at the time.)
   With a live band and a warbly vibrato wide enough to drive an AMC Pacer through, Ms. Bond covered songs such as "Different Drum" (Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys), "Angel of the Morning" (Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts), "Superstar" (the Carpenters), "You're So Vain" (Carly Simon) and many more. 
   Her between-tune patter veered vertiginously through a range of cracked topics, including an early infatuation with "The Turk," the man in 1970s advertisements for Camel filtered cigarettes (photo, left); her teenage liaison with a rough-trade stud named Tango; and, again, much more. 
   Bond lived in San Francisco in the nineteen-nineties; it was here that she perfected her demented lounge act, "Kiki and Herb." When she moved to New York roughly fifteen years ago, the act took the Big Apple by storm. ("Took the Big Apple by storm": two cliches for the price of one. Don't say First of All has never given you anything). 
   Mr./Ms. Bond has received a passel of awards (the Obie, Bessie, and Ethyl Eichelberger awards) and was nominated for a Tony, which is prestigious, believe you me. Time Out New York magazine named him one of the top forty favorite New Yorkers, and - oh, for Christ's sake, look it up for yourself on his Web site. There's an entire paragraph about her accomplishments. I simply cannot do everything for you; I'm sorry. 
   See Justin Bond in anything. Really. She's a gem; she's the turquoise center stone in the large silver bracelet of performance art. 

Below, Bond sings "Angel of the Morning" without, sadly, the caftan and wig:

1 comment:

  1. thanks for that...feel like i was there with you! missin' the brown velour look. really hope it makes a comeback: that and coke pants :)